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For the Public Good: A Call to Serve

The Law School’s Innocence Project relies on students like Curtis Hinca.

Curtis Hinca: man with briefcase

Long before Curtis Hinca set foot in the University of Wisconsin Law School, he was on a path to serve others: after high school, Hinca enlisted in the Air Force, where he was on active duty for six years. During his service, Hinca was exposed to criminal justice issues and first considered attending law school as a way to continue to give back to the community.

As a law student, Hinca learned the ins and outs of investigation and legal research through an internship at the DA’s office and his work with the Wisconsin Innocence Project. During his time at WIP, Hinca helped exonerate an innocent man—and saw the value of persistence and overcoming obstacles. He is also an active volunteer in the school’s Pro Bono Program and helps clients with legal needs through the Veteran’s Law Center, a free walk-in legal clinic serving low-income veterans and their families.

This hands-on experience proved useful when Hinca was offered the exceptional opportunity to argue in front of the U.S. Court of Military Appeals, the nation’s highest military court. When the court made a special visit to UW Law School, it permitted a student to argue on behalf of each side of the case as a friend of the court. Hinca argued in support of the appellant in a Fourth Amendment search and seizure case and got a glimpse of the challenges faced by appellate attorneys.

Transformative educational experiences like these enable UW Law School to attract remarkable students like Curtis Hinca. Donor support makes it possible to create student-centered education, fund the Veteran’s Law Center, and provide scholarships to the men and women who have served our country.

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